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« Nokia's Lumia 520 now available in Canada on Rogers, Koodo and TELUS | Main | Review: Double Dip hard case for the HTC One »
Wednesday
May082013

Review: RHA MA450i noise isolating earphones with remote and mic

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

The search for the perfect set of earphones has been something of a quest for me. I've been wanting a quality and multifunctional set of earphones but not wanting to have to overspend for a specific brand. With RHA's MA450i iOS compatible earphones, I found many premium features that would appeal to users expecting to pay a lot more for a set of high quality earphones.

If you haven't heard of RHA, they are a British brand of professional noise isolating headphone and earphones.

Their products can be ordered online or purchased in most Apple Retail Stores.

The MA450i is designed to work with iOS devices and has a built in remote as well as microphone that has plug and play functionality with iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads as well as any Mac computer.

The MA540i are made from machined aluminum and have a slick and glossy finish with metallic accents. As a result they feel lightweight yet solid and wear comfortably on the ears for prolonged use. 

You can tell from first looking at them that they aren't your run of the mill earphones.

The remote is well designed for use as there is a dimple for the play/pause button.

The microphone quality was above average as a handsfree option for the iPhone or iPad, people on the other end of my Facetime calls could hear me loud and clear. Once you use noise isolating earphones, it is so difficult to go back to a set that doesn't offer this feature.

The fabric braided cable is tangle free and is long enough to weave in and out of various layers of outerwear. RHA also includes a nice felt bag to keep the earphones when not in use.

RHA also provides seven paris of soft silicone eartips of varying sizes although I found that the pair that was stuck on the phones was completely adequate for my ears. having extra tips is always good since the originals almost always get lost.

Sound quality of the MA450i is superb and has a good mix of surprisingly deep lows and steady mid and high notes. I found the MA450i had a fuller wider sound with a good range of music. I tested them on an iPod Classic as well as the HTC One (which has an added feature of Beats audio enhancement) and was very impressed with the outcome. 

The $50 RHA MA450i have a better range than my daily driver Klipsch Image S4i earphones which cost more than twice as much. They also beat many of the freebie earphones that ship with smartphones today by a wide mile.

The MA450i's sound quality is richer and offered better isolation specially in instrumental pieces such as classical, jazz and ambient music. The deep bass and solid all around sound works well with rock, hip hop and metal and because these are noise-isolating earphones everything sounds bigger and heavier. 

I took the RHA MA540i with me on a recent trip where they were used with various smartphones, my MacBook Pro, a PlayStation Vita and an Olympus voice recorder and they worked very well for all these applications. My only wish was that the remote control could work on non iOS devices. I wonder if this can be made possible with a simple app.

Other than that, the RHA MA450i are nearly perfect noise isolating earphones that should satisfy even the most discriminating audiophile. Well built, thoughtfully designed and impressive all around, the RHA 450i should be on the shortlist of any iOS user looking for dynamic quality earphones that are priced right.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Reader Comments (1)

Hello Gadjo,

I was very pleased to finally find a Canadian review about good quality earphones that could actually be purchased in Canada. I picked up a set at the Apple store in Fairview Mall two weeks ago. I must admit that I agree with almost everything you said about these earphones - they're quite good ! The only thing I dislike about them is the cord - it is definitely NOT tangle-free. In fact it has a tendency to become tangled quite easily and that's it's main shortfall. Prior to this I had the Klipsch Image S4 which definitely boasts a tangle free cord. However, Klipsch's earphones would never stay in place which was most annoying. I definitely prefer the RHA, overall. I just hope they improve that cord !
Many thanks for your review.
~ Margarita

August 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMargarita

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